Sanchi Stupa is one of the prominent monuments of Indian Architecture. It is a Buddhist complex and is written as Sanci. It is a famous Stupa in India as it is situated on top of a hill at Sanchi Town which is situated in Raisen District in Madhya Pradesh. It is located very near to the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal.
It was specially made by Emperor Ashoka who belonged to Maurya Dynasty. It is this place where his wife, Devi was born and they both got married at the same place.
In this article, find some interesting facts about this important place in Indian history.
1. There are number of stupas within few miles from Sanchi including Satdhara which is 9kms from Sanchi and contains 40 stupas, Bhojpur which contains 60 stupas. Each stupa contains chamber and Relics were carved on these chambers.
2. The Great Stupa (Stupa 1) was commissioned by emperor Ashoka in 3rd Century BCE during the Mauryan Empire. He commissioned the stupa after restructuring the mortal remains of Buddha and several stupas were built across India to spread Buddhism. Further additions and restorations were done by various dynasties and kings.
3. Great Stupa was crowned by Chhatri, which looks like parasol was intended to honour and protect the Buddhist relics. Stupa is brick structure and is surrounded by wooden railing. The dome symbolized the wheel of Dharma.
4. A finely polished sandstone pillar was erected on the side of main Torana gateway called Ashoka pillar. The whole pillar is about 42 feet height. National emblem of India was derived from Ashoka pillar. It consisted of round and slightly tapering monolithic shaft, with bell-shaped capital mounted by an abacus with crowing monument of four lions, set back to back. The whole structure is polished to remarkable shine from top to bottom.
5. After the Mauryan Empire, Shunga dynasty took over and Stupa was expanded which is double the size of original with more flattened dome using stone slabs and this covered the original brick structure.
6. Further construction and decoration happened during the Satavahana rule. According to the inscriptions, the four decorated gateways or torans which face all the directions were added during the 1st century BCE by Satavahana kings. The torans contains illustrations of various events happened in the life of Buddha based on Jataka tales. Lord Buddha has been depicted through figures like wheels and thrones.
7. Sanchi Stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the year 1989 when the Sanchi Stupa was declared the world heritage site.
8. Sanchi is also known as Kakanaya. It is mainly known for the great Buddhist architectural style in which it was made. It is a heaven for all the Buddhist population and you will be surprised to know that it is one of the oldest stupas of its time.
9. You can see one of the most important historical signs of India here, that is the Ashoka pillar. The pillar contains the picture of four lions and is highly symbolic for India and its culture.
10. The Sanchi Stupa is of great importance as we all know by now. Although Lord Buddha has never visited this place physically, it us known to carry great value for the Buddhist population. You shall be surprised to know that the Stupa remained undiscovered and unexplored until the 14th century. This place and Stupa was discovered in the year 1818 by Taylor.
I hope that the article has been helpful in establishing some of the most interesting facts about the Sanchi Stupa. Do plan a visit to this holy place whenever you get an opportunity of doing so.